THE SILENT TREATMENT: Sally of the Sawdust

Presented in 35mm courtesy of the Library of Congress
Feat. Live Accompaniment from Cliff Retallick!

A rare comedy from the typically austere D.W. Griffith, Sally of the Sawdust is a delightful gem and the veritable kick off of W.C. Fields’s unmatched career. Based on the 1923 stage musical Poppy, Sally is rife with what we now know as trademark Fields — bumbling idiocy, juggling, dog-kicking — all in the midst of circus antics galore.

Fields plays Prof. Eustace, a lovably notorious juggler who becomes the unlikely guardian of Sally after her mother (rejected by her affluent parents for marrying a lowly circus performer) dies in an accident. Eustace raises Sally in the circus and passes on all of his survival tricks, until one day their work leads them to the same town where Sally’s snooty grandparents live.

Dir. D.W. Griffith, 1925, 35mm (Courtesy of L.O.C.), 104 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!